This weekend in the Quad Cities the local orchestra highlights the 250th anniversary of the birth of the composer Mozart. Lance Willett, Executive Director of the Quad-Cities Symphony Orchestra Association, says it’s one of the oldest musical groups of its kind performing its 91st season for patrons in two states. The corporate office is in Davenport but the orchestra’s market goes 45 to 70-miles out into western Illinois, eastern and northeast Iowa.
Willett says every year the symphony orchestra plays several concerts, including a mid-winter “Mozart Birthday Celebration” in January as a tribute to the famous composer, but this year’s a special anniversary. The orchestra’s one of “thousands of music organizations in the world” he says are celebrating the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — born January 27, 1756, in Austria. This event is Saturday evening at Davenport’s Outing Club.
As a symphony orchestra association he says it’s important to present all types of classical music, but the players are scheduled for a special chamber-music concert every year which often includes music by Mozart, but this year he’ll make up the entire program. Willett says it’s an appropriate tribute to his genius. This weekend’s concert will be all-Mozart in part because it’s the composer’s 250th “birthday” this year. Willett says the association’s found some special musical works to perform. One’s an early string quartet that’s seldom been heard before, and the two “big pieces” on the rest of the program are a concerto for flute and harp, and Mozart’s “Wind Serenade.”
The symphony expands its outreach by going out to do presentations at public schools in eastern Iowa. It’s also broadcast, working regularly with Iowa Public Television as part of its “Symphonies of Iowa” series. One of its school ensemble performances will also be broadcast statewide this year on ICN, the state fiber-optics communication network.